Binding problem  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The binding problem is one of a number of terms at the interface between neuroscience and philosophy which suffer from being used in several different ways, often in a context that does not explicitly indicate which way the term is being used. Of the many possible usages, two common versions may be useful anchor points. Firstly, there is the practical issue of how brains segregate elements in complex patterns of data. This can be illustrated by the question "When I see a blue square and a yellow circle, what neural mechanisms ensure that the sensing of blue is coupled to that of a square shape and that of yellow is coupled to that of a circle?" Secondly, there is the more fundamental problem of "how the unity of conscious perception is brought about by the distributed activities of the central nervous system."

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